Tarot For Troubled Times:
Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self, Transform The World
Author: Shaheen Miro, Theresa Reed
I was drawn to this book totally based on its title – because these are troubled times. Then I started to think that denizens of all times might have considered their times troubled. The focus in this work is clear – it is on how the Tarot can help us deal with what we consider to be obstacles/difficulties in our lives. In other words, how we can deal with our shadows. Miro and Reed address the spiritual nature of the Tarot, and how we can move beyond our self-imposed limitations and discover the magic in our own lives.
The magic begins with the foundation of this book – that we can help ourselves through the use of the Tarot. That we can address our shadow sides through the 22 Major Arcana, and that we can come to embrace our shadows, and learn to work with them and through them. To heal ourselves, and to take that healing out into the world to help transform it. We are given a multitude of tools to work with, including specific Tarot spreads, affirmations, and journaling prompts.
In their introduction Miro and Reed acknowledge the general and political unrest that marks this time. They also note that this is a time when shadow work is a necessary part of life. They encourage us to be part of the solution. They define “Tarot For Troubled Times” as a handbook for personal evolution, social justice, and healing.
The Fool begins our journey, by defining the tools that we have available. The spiritual tools that we have available, such as meditation, affirmations, the Tarot, and magical rites. Anyone, from any background, can put these tools to best use. We are presented with journaling prompts to help us get a grasp on where we currently are in our understanding of ourselves. (These prompts continue on through the book.) My thought here would be to start a journal dedicated to working with this book. This is definitely not a read it and shelve it kind of book. It is a book to be worked with on a continuing basis, focusing on whatever most needs to be addressed in your life.
I am a great fan of thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh. A common thread with each of them is staying in the present, living in the present, being aware of what is happening around us, and how we are reacting to it. This is also one of the first things that Miro and Reed address. Specifically, they say “You cannot heal the pain or create the dream if you cannot be in the moment with every part of yourself as it is.” They also speak of the necessity of changing our perception about ourselves, so that we can become “coherent and congruent” with all of our parts. We have to know our shadow to come to peace with it.
From the book: “Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.” (Leonardo da Vinci)
I am very impressed with the tools that are offered in this book, including meditation, meta meditation, EFT, creating sacred space, working with ceremony, learning to go with the flow, working with breath, claiming your own space, working with energetic chords, empowering and protecting yourself, and visualization.
Miro and Reed view the Tarot as a mirror of ourselves. Every good Tarot reader knows this. They present the Major Arcanaas archetypes and ally’s on our journey of self-discovery and empowerment. They also present the birth card system as a way for us to know which cards in the Major Arcana lend their energy to us. There is a synopsis for each of the 22 cards, as well as suggestions for working with them. Each card is presented with a black and white scan (from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot), an affirmation, the positive traits and the shadow side, and actions to take.
Part of the package includes the Minor Arcana – the four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, with their basic energy and elemental associations.
The three powers of the Tarot are listed as (1) Tarot is diagnostic, (2) Tarot is retroactive, and (3) Tarot is creative. It is through these avenues that we work with the Tarot to heal ourselves. Spreads included are Body/Mind/Spirit, When You’re Feeling Low, The Grief Spread, Twelve Steps To Freedom Spread, When You’ve Relapsed, When Your Loved One Is An Addict, Moving On, The Compass Spread, and When You’re Struggling To Make A Decision. There are also tips on creating your own spread.
Do you believe in magic? Miro and Reed do, and they have a wonderful section on placing magic into our lives, including creating magic, working with candle magic, and working with magical rituals.
Another wonderful tool is working with the enmagic,ergy of each year. Miro and Reed show us how to calculate the number for any given year, and associating it with the energy of each of the 22 Major Arcana.
“Tarot For Troubled Times” is all about doing the inner work, manifesting personal change, and then taking that change out into the world to effect global change. This is a powerful book, a book that shows us the path to self-empowerment. As a writer, I commend the author’s for the manner in which they present their work, and for their choice of words. Their work carries the expectation of a certain level of intelligence in their reading audience – bravo! Kudos to Miro and Reed for putting themselves on the front line for what the Tarot represents, and what we can accomplish through working with it!
© June 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written approval from the author.